The Robert O'Dowd Fund

Raising funds for The Brain Tumour Charity in memory of Robert.

Robert's story

Robert was born 18th May 1967 in Gillingham and died 30th May 2008 in Tonbridge Cottage Hospital, just a few days after his forty first birthday.

Robert came into the world a large, happy 10 ½ lb baby with a lovely smile - he was youngest of two.

He grew into a sturdy youngest, he had a few co-ordination problems but nature and nurture prevailed and he grew into a strong, tall young man who worked with his father in the building industry for over eighteen years. He contributed to the household with his strength and hard work, he achieved three City and Guilds exams and enjoyed music. He could play a tune by ear and learned to dance.

His father, John, died in 1999 and Robert and his mother had to make a new life. Robert found a full time job with Del Monte (UK) Ltd in Paddock Wood, Kent and they both moved and lived in Paddock Wood for six years.

From April 2005 Robert became a different person, his personality changed and although there were many visits to the local GP over two years nothing was achieved that helped him.

In December 2007, he had a massive seizure and was taken to the local hospital. Again nothing resulted from the hospital that involved any proper diagnosis. His brother fought to get further tests and it was stated that he had developed epilepsy and was discharged with medication.

His health deteriorated and on 1st April 2008 after a biopsy at Kings his mother and brother were given the news he only had a couple of months to live and all that was available was palliative radiotherapy which was to be organised at Maidstone. This never took place because he had another seizure the day he went for the mask fitting.

His mother and brother cared for him until 1st May 2008 when he was admitted to Tonbridge Cottage Hospital, and for the last month of his life his mother watched her youngest son's mind, strength and personality being destroyed by a stage 4 giloblastoma. He fought hard to live and even when not able to speak he enjoyed listening to his collection of musical CDs and singing songs in French he had learnt in primary school.

His strong heart stopped beating at two p.m on 30th May 2008 and he was gone.

Our fundraising

September 16th 2014: A fundraising concert was held at St Margaret's Church in Rainham, Kent. September Songs performed by the Kingfisher Singers. A raffle and a marvellous turnout helped to raise £500. A big thank you to all who supported and helped.

March 8th 2014: A quiz was held in Twydall Church Hall, Twydall Lane, Gillingham, Kent which raised £480.00 and with £100 raised on various stalls since 1st January 2014 this made a total of £580.00.
Everyone enjoyed the Quiz and it was well supported. Thanks to Trish and Chris at Holy Trinity Church and Kevin the Quiz Master.

October 26th 2013: A quiz took place at Twydall Church Hall, Twydall, Gillingham, Kent to raise funds and resulted in £533.00 being raised and sent to the charity. It was an enjoyable evening the questions and answers were variable but aided by a free bottle of wine and Nibbles on each table everyone enjoyed the evening. A thank you to Kevin the quizmaster and Trish and Chris from the church. I hope to have another in March /April 2013.

June 2nd 2013: A table top event at St Barnabas Church Gillingham and the Dickens Festival Stall Rochester raised £90.00 in total!

April 20th 2013: Concert at St Margaret's Church, Rainham. Featuring Kingfisher singers. Over £300.00 raised!I have organized a Charity Table Top sale at Twydall Church Hall, Gillingham, and will have various local charities and my own charity Food Tombola stall. I did one in Oct 2012 and that was successful.

Since November 2008 I have in small way fund raised in the Rainham and Gillingham area of Kent. Various activities included Barn Dances, Tea Parties, Music Concerts and fundraising stalls at various venues in the area.

Before Christmas 2012 I was involved in running a stall at five different venues including the local scouts and the Cats Protection charity which were all good money raisers and raised £300.00 and the Saturday mornings were enjoyable. My helper and I did get our photograph in local paper so a neighbour informed me.

In 2015 I held two events a Quiz in March and a concert in September both were successful and raised a good amount. I also had stalls in various venues selling items which all helped to raise money. My local supporters and helpers in Rainham and Gillingham are still assisting me throughout the year. Our goal was £10,000 which I believe I have achieved. I am still going to fundraise in 2016 and hope to make more money for the charity.